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Haiti: UN and partners continue assistance in the earthquake response

17 Aug 2021


Residents of Les Cayes, in the Sud department of Haiti, wait for medical attention at Immaculee Conception Hospital, 15 August 2021. © UNICEF

OCHA reports that UN agencies, in collaboration with government and humanitarian partners, are currently assessing needs in areas of the southern peninsula most hit by the earthquake. 

UN Humanitarian Air Service flights are supporting the delivery of supplies and medical staff. The first members of an UNDAC team are arriving today to set up an On-Site Operations Coordination Centre in both Les Cayes and Jérémie to facilitate the coordination of international response activities and information management in support of the Government.

Government and UN officials negotiated humanitarian access for two Government/UN relief convoys – one on Sunday and one on Monday – to pass through the main road linking the capital, Port-au-Prince, to the country’s southern peninsula, which had been blocked by gangs for months. Additional convoys will follow. Access is very complex due to the gangs that control the road and vast parts of the country. 

The US$8 million allocation by the Emergency Relief Coordinator from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, announced on 15 August, will help to kick-start relief efforts in health care, clean water, emergency shelter and sanitation. 

Efforts are also under way to mobilize additional national health specialists from other parts of the country. Of particular concern is the dire health situation, as several hospitals have been damaged or destroyed, while those still operating are completely overwhelmed, lacking sufficient personnel and medical supplies.

According to the Haitian Civil Protection Directorate, as of today 1,400 people are confirmed dead and more than 6,900 others injured, with hundreds more still missing. More than 37,000 homes have been destroyed and 46,000 have sustained damage, leaving thousands of people homeless, and generating pressing shelter, health, water, sanitation and hygiene needs. 

Despite Tropical Storm Grace weakening into a depression, the system still threatens to dump more than 10 inches of rain over the areas hardest hit by the earthquake, potentially triggering flash floods that could complicate humanitarian response efforts.